MSSB Business Plan

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Jul 14, 2009 6:03 pm

So I rocked my interview and assessment tests with MSSB and now I have graduated to the "Business Plan" portion of the interview process.  I have searched the forums, but haven't been able to find much help.  Here are a few specific questions:

1. On one page, I must identify "Professional Alliances"  "Approachable Target Markets" and  "Prospecting List Sources."  On the next page, I Must list "Target Client Base" "#Potential Accounts" "Investor Objectives" and "Market Niche"

They don't really define what they want for these buckets.  What's the difference between an "Approachable Target Market," a "Target Client Base," and a "Market Niche?"  Also, I am having a hard time developing Investor Objectives.  I have a huge list of corporate marketing managers (affinity group), but their individual needs are extremely diverse.

2. A bigger question is if I can leverage my Rolodex of contacts I have built up over the past several years.  I have about 10,000 names, but these are people located all over the country.  Will they let me be licensed in multiple states?  At the very least, I would like to sell to my NY and CA contacts (lots of them, but I don't live in either state.)

If this is a strange proposition for MSSB, I don't even want to mention it in my business plan.

Jul 14, 2009 7:47 pm

Ask some of those Jone's vets you talked too.  I bet they can help.

Jul 14, 2009 8:59 pm

I believe the purpose of the business plan is to demonstrate that you can think. Then during your next in-person interview they will ask you questions about your plan.

There will also be a "Senior Advisor" who will be looking for ways to benefit from your contacts with the expectation that you will fail. Welcome to the industry!

They will run you through all these steps then offer you minimum wage! But good luck!

Anyway...this was my experience with MS.

Jul 14, 2009 9:15 pm

ugh.....sorry man but stuff like this makes me ill. You are getting drenched in Management Kool Aid.



Well, drink up and tell them about your 10K prospects. That will get "them" excited.





Jul 15, 2009 6:31 pm

At the end of the day if they want you bad enough they're not even gonna read the business plan you submit. In fact in my case they had one already pre-formatted and I just filled in my information and changed some of the wording. Its just part of the hiring process. I doubt many BOMs put much weight in it.

Jul 16, 2009 3:55 pm
SB0807:

At the end of the day if they want you bad enough they're not even gonna read the business plan you submit. In fact in my case they had one already pre-formatted and I just filled in my information and changed some of the wording. Its just part of the hiring process. I doubt many BOMs put much weight in it.



You are probably right.  After spending a few hours on it (I added a few appendices), I got frustrated trying to make it "perfect." I just finished with the "80% solution" and submitted it.

I guess it was good enough because the day after I submitted it, the BOM called me and said he read it then scheduled my final set of interviews. 

I just hope they can put an offer together before my EDJ start date.

Jul 18, 2009 10:11 pm

Well folks, as it turns out... the business plan was pretty important.  Almost the entire interview was based on my plan.  The Branch Manager and Assistant Manager really liked my work.  They had me sign the paperwork for my background check.  They went through all my information (especially salary history) and double checked everything to make sure there were no snags.  They hinted that they want to get an offer put together by next Friday.

Perhaps it was a mistake to mention that I have received an offer from EDJ.  MSSB wanted to know what it was.  I would rather them base the offer on the six figure income I was earning before I got laid off instead of the paltry EDJ starting salary.  In any case, I know the salary will be low... and goes away quickly, but more is always better.

I guess I'll be holding my breath for the next six days....

Jul 18, 2009 10:12 pm

who cares?

Jul 19, 2009 5:27 pm
iceco1d:
MBA2FA:

Well folks, as it turns out... the business plan was pretty important.  Almost the entire interview was based on my plan.  The Branch Manager and Assistant Manager really liked my work.  They had me sign the paperwork for my background check.  They went through all my information (especially salary history) and double checked everything to make sure there were no snags.  They hinted that they want to get an offer put together by next Friday.

Perhaps it was a mistake to mention that I have received an offer from EDJ.  MSSB wanted to know what it was.  I would rather them base the offer on the six figure income I was earning before I got laid off instead of the paltry EDJ starting salary.  In any case, I know the salary will be low... and goes away quickly, but more is always better.

I guess I'll be holding my breath for the next six days....

 
Actually, that may not be true.  If MSSB operates like most wires used to operate, the higher your salary, the higher your "hurdle."  So if you take a lower salary, you have a better shot of not getting axed. 
 
Plus, if your payout would have been higher than your salary, you get the payout on what you produce anyway. 
 
That is, unless something has changed?
 
I'll have to agree. It would have to have that fat salary to start out with, but you are on the chopping block if you don't start ramping up quick enough. You'll still get the paid normal on what you produce anyways. Look at it like getting a pay raise every month for the next two years (then a big pay cut).
Jul 20, 2009 3:59 pm
SB0807:
iceco1d:
MBA2FA:

Well folks, as it turns out... the business plan was pretty important.  Almost the entire interview was based on my plan.  The Branch Manager and Assistant Manager really liked my work.  They had me sign the paperwork for my background check.  They went through all my information (especially salary history) and double checked everything to make sure there were no snags.  They hinted that they want to get an offer put together by next Friday.

Perhaps it was a mistake to mention that I have received an offer from EDJ.  MSSB wanted to know what it was.  I would rather them base the offer on the six figure income I was earning before I got laid off instead of the paltry EDJ starting salary.  In any case, I know the salary will be low... and goes away quickly, but more is always better.

I guess I'll be holding my breath for the next six days....

 
Actually, that may not be true.  If MSSB operates like most wires used to operate, the higher your salary, the higher your "hurdle."  So if you take a lower salary, you have a better shot of not getting axed. 
 
Plus, if your payout would have been higher than your salary, you get the payout on what you produce anyway. 
 
That is, unless something has changed?
 
I'll have to agree. It would have to have that fat salary to start out with, but you are on the chopping block if you don't start ramping up quick enough. You'll still get the paid normal on what you produce anyways. Look at it like getting a pay raise every month for the next two years (then a big pay cut).



Thanks for the perspective.  That will be (emotionally) helpful if they come in with a low offer.  I guess I'll find out soon enough.  It looks like I am on the home stretch.

I just got a call from the branch manager.  It seems I have to meet with some regional (trainer?) person before they can extend an offer.  I forget the title of the person.  They are trying to rearrange a bunch of things so we can meet tomorrow and get it all wrapped up so they can get an offer put together by Friday.

Does anyone know about this stage of the process (I have already tested, done behavioral interview, business plan presentation, etc)?

Jul 20, 2009 4:03 pm

Well I just lost a $11,000 account to Morgan Stanley today.  Not that I'm worried about it as the clients stopped doing what I told them 2 years ago, but would Morgan have gone after a prospect w/$11,000 of investable assets 2 years ago?  Or even 1 year ago?

Jul 20, 2009 4:39 pm

Congrats, MBA2FA, on your success thus far with MS(SB).


The next few years will be brutal, but I think you'll look back and be glad you had the nerve to go straight to the big leagues.
 
I've got a buddy with MS - a former Jonesie - and he said it's a night and day difference in the quality of people he's now working alongside and a great atmosphere of comraderie and competition to keep everyone motivated.
 
Good luck.
Jul 20, 2009 7:45 pm

3 possibilities...

1. You didn't profile the client properly.
2. Rookie broker just taking whatever he/she can get.
3. Friend or relative of new broker.
Jul 20, 2009 7:47 pm
Borker Boy:

Congrats, MBA2FA, on your success thus far with MS(SB).

The next few years will be brutal, but I think you'll look back and be glad you had the nerve to go straight to the big leagues.
 
I've got a buddy with MS - a former Jonesie - and he said it's a night and day difference in the quality of people he's now working alongside and a great atmosphere of comraderie and competition to keep everyone motivated.
 
Good luck.



Thanks Borker Boy!

I must say that there is a certain "atmosphere" at the MSSB branch that I can't quite describe.  It feels professional, cut-throat, exciting, intense.... quite exhilarating! The fact that each interview has had minor interruptions from "emergencies" (with sincere apologies afterward) is a much different feel from the Jones offices where you can hear a pin drop.

MSSB feels much more like the corporate environment I come from.  A couple of FA's there even boast MBA's from top 10 schools.

With Jones, I think I was giving myself a false sense of confidence telling myself, " I can do this in my sleep."  With MSSB, I am legitimately scared!  When I told the BM I wanted at least $25MM AUM in the first 2 years, he said, "that's fine, but are you sure that's enough to live off of? ($25MM X .75 bps x .4 = $75,000 take home).  Can you really survive off of less than less than $100k per year?  I don't want to see you wash out in year 3 because you didn't set high enough goals.  Perhaps you should bump up your minimum standards up a bit!"

I couldn't imagine having a conversation even similar to this with the Jones guys, but maybe I am wrong!  I really love the feeling of brutal competition and high standards.  And hey, If I wash out, there are about 456 bank job openings in a 50 mile radius.

Jul 20, 2009 7:54 pm
3rdyrp2:

Well I just lost a $11,000 account to Morgan Stanley today.  Not that I'm worried about it as the clients stopped doing what I told them 2 years ago, but would Morgan have gone after a prospect w/$11,000 of investable assets 2 years ago?  Or even 1 year ago?



I don't know if this is a standard best practice at MSSB, but when I was interviewing with MSSB, the BM told me I should only take accounts under $100k if they are a 401(k) rollover where I will never really have to do anything with them or if we set the expectation up front that we will only do a portfolio review once or twice a year (if they want more attention, they need to invest more $$ or find someone else).

Jul 20, 2009 8:19 pm

/

Jul 20, 2009 8:24 pm
SB0807:

3 possibilities...

1. You didn't profile the client properly.
2. Rookie broker just taking whatever he/she can get.
3. Friend or relative of new broker.
 
I hope thats not the case, the wife's mom has $400k with me!
Jul 20, 2009 9:23 pm

I'M actually going through that same process MBA2FA. I interviewed with one branch on Tues of last week but i haven't received any responses yet. I have another interview with another branch this Thursday and for this one i actually took the assessment test and ace it. I'm nervous as hell though because i really want this position so hopefully we'll see   

Jul 20, 2009 9:42 pm
damion99:

I'M actually going through that same process MBA2FA. I interviewed with one branch on Tues of last week but i haven't received any responses yet. I have another interview with another branch this Thursday and for this one i actually took the assessment test and ace it. I'm nervous as hell though because i really want this position so hopefully we'll see   



Hang in there and try to be patient.  It appears they are still working out glitches in the transition.  I had to fill out a paper application after I did the online one.  There also seems to be internal confusion on some other issues.  I am fortunate that the BM really seems to like me, so they are talking to me almost daily.  I am pushing them hard for a decision by this Friday.  Otherwise, I'm sure I would be in the "waiting boat" with you.

Best of luck!

Jul 21, 2009 8:41 am

Are you going for one of the nyc branches?